Do you see yourself a victim of your high sensitivity?

Do you see yourself a victim of your high sensitivity? I don’t and never have. This post isn’t meant to talk you out of your feelings about yourself, but to give you a new perspective.

I always felt like I was different, but I couldn’t understand why and what the cause was. Eight years ago I went to a class called “Are you a highly sensitive person?”. I always knew that I was a sensitive person, but I never heard of the term of being a highly sensitive person. I had a compelling need to attend this class!

This class was a real eye opener for me! I finally discovered the reason for me feeling and being different. I wasn’t crazy! What a relief! I was free to be myself and to work with my high sensitivity rather than against it.

I’m on the high side of being highly sensitive. I answered “true” to almost all of Elaine Aron’s test questions.

A majority of the people who attended the class felt that they were cursed or had something wrong with them. Again, I felt relieved that I found out this important information about myself.

I gathered more information about this subject and I gained self-confidence. So much so that I wrote a book, Making Sense of Your High Sensitivity, about my life as a highly sensitive person and the lessons that I’ve learned. I even used my real name as the author!

Before and after my discovery of being a highly sensitive person, I never felt of being a victim of my sensitivity. I do have challenges like everyone else, but I don’t blame or use my high sensitivity as an excuse for not doing what I want or need to do.

A big advantage of being highly sensitive is that you can experience life more deeply and therefore live life more fully. I’ve been self-employed for many years, have been married for many years, and have a very successful daughter
that I’m extremely proud of.

Again, there are many challenges to being highly sensitive, but I’m happy and proud to be who I am and how I’ve turned out to be. I feel that I’m still evolving and growing. I don’t feel like I’m a victim of anything! The good and bad choices that I’ve made have determined my destiny so far in my life.

Do you see yourself a victim of your high sensitivity? The choice is yours. Please choose wisely.

I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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5 Responses to Do you see yourself a victim of your high sensitivity?

  1. Jeni Gray says:

    I totally agree that I am “relieved” to know that I am HSP, after 50 years of feeling “different” and sometimes guilty for it.
    My life is fulfilling now. My challenge is with others – who don’t understand me and feel I am putting them off. Some advice about this would be great.
    Thanks for your blog here, I enjoy your writing. :)

    • Cliff Harwin says:

      Hi Jeni,

      Thank you for your comment about my blog. I really appreciate it!

      You gave me a good idea about another blog post. How about this…Do you feel misunderstood?

      I’m going to pose a question to you…In what ways do you feel misunderstood?

      I’m always looking for ideas about future blog posts…any other thoughts or ideas?

  2. Kaitlyn says:

    I just found a name to what I am, HSP (95% of the questions i said true *soft smile*), yesterday. In a way, I found relief too. But there is a problem that I want to ask of you, maybe if you could, you could give me some suggestions?

    I’m in my early 20′s and facing a lot of pressure in university classes, especially in those where I really am bad in and everyone else seems to be an effing genius.

    Usually I’m very…logical? But lately, I’ve been wanting to skip this particular language class because I wanted to avoid that stress / pressure of lecturer needling me with questions (where everyone else seems to answer well but I am the only one that needs to fumble around for books and ask around for answers) and also the fact that it’s an evening class, where I’m already dreary at the end of the day.

    I skipped that class twice because I didn’t want to face that. But I really feel guilty about it though, I don’t want to disappoint people. However being in that class really just makes me want to run away from it faster. I’m sorry if I sound spoiled or pampered, I really don’t mean that way. :(

    But in your opinion, do you think that it’s just my being lazy, or is it a class that’s too much stimuli for that is overwhelming (being a HSP), or is it my imagination (because everyone else seems to be coping with the class fine and dandy, it makes me feel really inadequate)?

    Sorry if I’m bothering you though. OAO

    • Cliff Harwin says:

      Hi Kaitlyn,

      You need to explore why you don’t like this particular language class. Is it because of your teacher, the type of class, or because your concentration isn’t the best in the evening? Perhaps it’s a combination of everything that you mentioned.

      You need to address the problem and take steps to correct it. It will not go away on it’s own. Is it too late to change the class? If not, make a change. If so, ask for help and make the best of it. Next time when you pick your classes, use your intuition to guide you if you don’t feel good about it. With that said, don’t be afraid to take classes that challenge you.

      You’re not lazy. You can’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is different. The more you know about yourself and your high sensitivity, the better you’ll be able to work with your personality, rather than against it. I want to emphasize that there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re going through the normal growing pains that everyone goes through.

      You’re not bothering me with your questions. It’s a sign of intelligence to ask for help.

  3. Nicola says:

    I was in my early fifties when I discovered that there was such a thing as HSP. I also had always felt that I was somewhat different and I had often been teased about my sense of smell (SUPERnose!!!) and I was a self confessed supertaster. Over a period of ten years I had had nothing but disappointing experiences, while I kept on working towards pleasant solutions as I am solution-orientated. However, by 2011, when I found out about HSP, I was already traumatised, but did not know it. By 2012 I knew I was terribly stressed and that I needed grief counselling, but that did not start happening until late 2012 (the therapist I had chosen helped me only ever so little). My biggest problem is actually that I look very strong and together, while inside I often feel like a melting jellyfish. So when people suggested (or sort of demanded) that I do certain things – based on my capable impression – I had to reiterate all the time how I felt, which I don’t have a problem with, but it was not good for me to keep on hearing myself say it. Coming out of my emotional trauma is a long and dark road because I had started to live in fear and self-pity as nothing I tried paid off and I attracted more situations which were traumatic for me (like three of my five pets being wounded by a dog in one month’s time). I believe that while one is HSP and in such a state that you pick up many lousy energies from people who want to – knowingly or not – dump them on you. I don’t even have to be with someone, but I could have walked through a town with a bad vibe to suddenly be very tired. In that case HSP is a curse and yes, I do feel like a victim of it at times, but not that I cannot change it. It’s just that it’s indescribably hard to escape from the space that I had arrived in: mentally and financially bankrupt and insecure. Therapists who do not have experience with HSP haven’t the foggiest how a ‘together’ person like me can feel as I can talk about it as if it’s someone else who feels that way (also an HSP trait, I believe). The DSM does not yet recognise HSP and psychologists and psycho-therapists who are contracted in with my healthcare are not specialised in it and I am dependent on my healthcare insurance to get therapy. That is also why my recovery takes such a long time: I am being diagnosed according to textbook psychology and as is common for HSPs, therapists might think I have ADHD or even that I have autism light. If they knew me when I was younger and knew the circle of friends and acquaintances I had, or if they bothered to read the many original work references I have, they would not jump to such (insulting) conclusions, which incidentally, I have rejected. “Make sure you keep the reins of your own life,” one psychologist advised me when I had to stop in 2014 after ten sessions as for that year the healthcare wouldn’t pay anymore – I am not a serious enough case, ha ha! I attended a Mindfulness course of 30 hours but I found that mindfulness numbs me even more, it stymied all the grief that I still had to work through. So I think it’s not possible to say for someone else that they do not have to feel like a victim of HSP.

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